Update 2: Presentation from the NoSQL conference: slides, video.
Update: Why you won't be building your killer app on a distributed hash table by Jonathan Ellis. Why I think Cassandra is the most promising of the open-source distributed databases --you get a relatively rich data model and a distribution model that supports efficient range queries. These are not things that can be grafted on top of a simpler DHT foundation, so Cassandra will be useful for a wider variety of applications.
James Hamilton has published a thorough summary of Facebook's Cassandra, another scalable key-value store for your perusal. It's open source and is described as a "BigTable data model running on a Dynamo-like infrastructure." Cassandra is used in Facebook as an email search system containing 25TB and over 100m mailboxes.